Being someone who has never ever played a story mode in the history of Mortal Kombat, I had an idea in my mind of what the plot would be like, but I didn’t think the confusion would hit me like a brick, which is exactly what happened once the opening cutscene played out.
I had knowledge of iconic fighters such as Scorpion and Sub-Zero but had no clue of the lore behind them or their motivations.
Jumping right into Mortal Kombat 11’s story mode, I was expecting a goofy, corny, and on the nose plot that would either A: bore me senseless or B: end up being so funny that I just laugh during the entirety of the cutscenes.
But in actuality, neither of these things happened. I instead, found myself getting attached to several of the characters in Mortal Kombat 11’s remarkable and engaging story mode.
Here is the layman’s version of the plot from someone who is just getting their feet wet in this universe: an evil lady named Kronika is basically merging the past and the present to mess with the MK timeline to prevent a now corrupt Raiden from becoming too strong and upsetting the balance between light and dark.
This sounds somewhat noble, but her intentions are selfish, she just wants to stay in control, and manipulate the universe of Mortal Kombat and its realms as she has always done.
Due to her special time powers, classic MK characters from the past end up meeting their future partners, future children, and for some, Like Johnny Cage, their future selves.
Coming from someone like myself with little to no experience with the series, I was captivated and enthralled by the story that was presented to me, as well as several of the characters –Cassie Cage and her mother in particular.
**Warning: Spoilers From the Opening Chapter of Mortal Kombat 11 Ahead***
This might be going into slight spoiler territory, but in the opening chapter of MK11’s story, we’re introduced to Cassie Cage (Sonya Blade’s daughter) who ends up going on a dangerous mission with her mother and several other characters.
The mission is a success but one life was lost, and that person was Sonya herself. A sad and heartbroken Cassie eventually meets with a younger version of Sonya who has not yet become pregnant with Cassie.
Cassie’s emotional trauma of essentially seeing her dead mother surprisingly pulled at my heartstrings quite a bit, even without having any connections to these characters prior.
The journey that these characters go through in the story is done quite well, even with the somewhat large cast of characters that the story throws at the player.
It basically plays out like one long film, but with lots of fights thrown in. You’ll go from playing as Cassie Cage and Johnny Cage to Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
It does a great job of mixing things up and keeping the story fresh and exciting. There were never any moments that felt like filler, and it kept me on my toes while I attempted to perform kombos and Fatal Blows.
Instead of sticking with one single character of your choosing, MK11 makes you adapt to pretty much most of the characters in the roster, and quickly too. The transitions from cutscene to battle is seamless and smooth as butter.
Most of the time, I could tell when would be about to begin, but still, there were moments when I was merely watching the story progress to immediately be thrown into a fight, unprepared and without a controller in my hands.
It was especially cool when the game allowed me to choose between two fighters, giving me the option to decide who fights who, somewhat changing the following cutscene and its dialogue.
Every cutscene, fight, and location that the game flung me around to was exhilarating. The premise reminded me a bit of the Avengers, as all of these amazing and iconic fighters come together to fight a great evil.
Every time a “new” character would pop up on the screen, I would think to myself: “Is this an actual new character in the series? Is this guy a bad guy? Who the hell are you?” I’m pretty sure I felt the same way as someone diving headfirst into Kingdom Hearts 3 without prior knowledge –confused but still having a good time playing.
One by one, the good guy team becomes bigger and bigger, and while I had no idea who all of them were as a MK noob, I understood all of their motivations and why they were all fighting.
I learned their names, did some background research on a couple of them and started to understand what their connections meant and some of the references that were being made to past titles.
Netherrealm did a fantastic job making this story pretty easy to comprehend, and as someone jumping in with no experience, it’s very much appreciated.
The story mode in Mortal Kombat 11 is enjoyable as ever, and after playing through the other modes –it’s the best part of the entire game.